DERA GHAZI KHAN: Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan’s claim that an embankment built during the Usman Buzdar government had saved Taunsa from flooding has baffled the locals who say the main town is situated on higher grounds and does not need a dyke and that such a project was never taken in hand.

The former PM praised the the former CM in a public meeting in Jhelum on Saturday. Next day, Adviser to Chief Minister on Information Omar Sarfraz Cheema said the Taunsa city had been protected due to timely measures taken by the Punjab government.

A ‘sizeable’ dyke was constructed on the southern bank of Sanghar hill torrent. The structure is meant to protect a newly-built stadium, zoo and some official buildings.

The embankment did protect the new structures it was supposed to do but caused flooding in the upstream areas. Mangrotha and Sokar, two oldest towns of the region, were inundated owing to obstruction in the torrent flow. The dyke reduced one-third of riverbed of Sanghar and hence caused overflowing in upstream areas.

Taunsa AC Muhammad Asad Chandia said flooding in the Mangrotha and Sokar towns was due to exceptionally high flood of 268,000 cusecs in the Sanghar hill torrent. He said the dyke in question had protected Taunsa city as well.

Mushtaq Gadi, a representative of intelligentsia in Taunsa, said the dyke was constructed almost in the middle of Sanghar bed and it obstructed the natural flow of water and ultimately inundated Mangrotha and Sokar through Jam Wah water channel.

Prof Muhammad Khan, a resident of Taunsa, told Dawn the dyke was not properly designed and constructed.

Published in Dawn, August 30th, 2022

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